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  •  REVIEW: EUREKA

    Eureka

    Japan off the beaten track

    For those who have the patience to watch all three hours plus of "Eureka," there's a touching story of humanity in the Japanese hinterlands.

    By ROBIN EISGRAU
    Offoffoff.com

    This three hour and forty minute, black and white film is an elegiac meditation on what happens to three survivors of a bus hijacking. One morning in a Japanese suburb, two school-age children (played by Aoi Miyazaki and Masaru Miyazaki) get on a bus and wave goodbye to their mother. At one point the bus stops and picks up an agitated looking man.

      
    EUREKA
    Written and directed by: Shinji Aoyama.
    Cast: Koji Yakusho, Aoi Miyazaki, Masaru Miyazaki, Yoichiro Saito, Ken Mitsuishi, Go Riju, Yutaka Matsushige, Sansei Shiomi, Kimie Shingyoji.
    In Japanese with English subtitles.
    Next we are shown the bus in an aquarium parking lot with newspaper taped over the windows. Several passengers are dead, leaving just the children and the driver (played by Koji Yakusho of "Shall We Dance" and "The Eel"), who is taken outside by the busjacker. The quick-thinking bus driver then drops to the ground and the busjacker is shot by the police.

    After this incident, the lives of the three survivors change drastically. The driver leaves home and wanders for two years. The children's family falls apart: their mother leaves their father and their father soon kills himself. The children live alone in their squalid house, supported by insurance money.

    The driver returns to his family and finds day labor in construction. A co-worker tells him about the children, and he goes to their house and takes care of them. The children's twentysomething cousin shows up too.

    Meanwhile there's been a series of murders of young women in the town and the police call in the driver as a suspect. After being cleared of the crime, the driver buys a scaled-down trailer and proceeds to take the family on a trip where they do some bonding, the murder mystery gets solved and a conflict arises, all the while giving the viewer a tour of Japan outside of the big cities.

    Eureka may irk those who expect films of this length to constantly barrage the audience with spectacle, but its reflective nature and engrossing plot will draw in those who approach it with patience.

    MAY 4, 2001
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK


    Reader comments on Eureka:

  • The best movie ever   from tyler, Jun 11, 2001
  • Re: The best movie ever   from Mao, Jul 30, 2001
  • Re: The best movie ever   from caibu, Jan 4, 2002
  • Re: The best movie ever   from Yoshi, Feb 8, 2002
  • Re: The best movie ever   from jeroen, Mar 5, 2002
  • Re: The best movie ever   from Grant, Mar 25, 2004
  • Re: The best movie ever   from FABRICE, Apr 17, 2013
  • Could be editted to one hour   from Craig, Mar 10, 2005
  • Re: Could be editted to one hour   from elcu, May 13, 2005
  • Re: Could be editted to one hour   from robert, Sep 30, 2009
  • Correction   from elcu, May 13, 2005
  • Re: Correction   from robert, Sep 30, 2009
  • Eureka   from Lyon Blair, Nov 16, 2006

  • Post a comment on "Eureka"